Nebraska vs. Northwestern Date: Sept. 27 Time: 7 p.m. Central Location: Evanston, Ill. Field: Lakeside Field Live Stats: NUSports.com
Nebraska vs. Illinois Date: Sept. 29 Time: 1 p.m. Central Location: Champaign, Ill. Field: Illinois Soccer Stadium Live Stats: FightingIllini.com
The Huskers, who are currently on a four-game win streak, will attempt to record its first road victory of the year this weekend with a pair of Big Ten Conference battles at Northwestern and Illinois. Nebraska’s impressive play as put them on the national radar as the team appeared at No. 20 in the first NCAA RPI rankings of 2013, No. 4 in the NSCAA Great Lakes Regional Rankings and just outside the Top 25 in the coaches poll, receiving 24 votes in 29th position.
Friday’s matchup with Northwestern will be the fifth meeting on the pitch between the two programs, with the Huskers controlling the series, 4-1. Nebraska has defeated Northwestern each of the past two seasons since joining the Big Ten. The Huskers downed the Wildcats 2-0 last season on the road in Jordan Jackson’s return from injury as she notched a goal and an assist.
Sunday’s tilt with the Illini will also be the fifth matchup between the two squads, with Illinois owning the series, 4-0. NU has been unable to solve the Illini the last two seasons, dropping by scores of 4-1 and 3-1.
Nebraska soccer fans can follow all the action with live stats from NUSports.com and FightingIllini.com.
Scouting Northwestern (RPI: 170, Bennett: 106) The Wildcats, who return 24 letterwinners and 10 starters, are off to a 2-5-2 start in 2013 after finishing last season with a 7-10-2 overall mark on its way to 10th place finish in the Big Ten. Northwestern lost a 3-2 double-overtime heartbreaker in the conference opener at No. 9 Penn State last Friday.
The Wildcats are 2-1-1 at home this season and led by Kate Allen’s team-high seven points playing 87.2 minutes per contest. Allen, who scored both goals against PSU, has amassed 11 more shots on goal than her next closest teammate. Northwestern has been outscored 13-9 through nine matches.
Scouting Illinois (RPI: 59, Bennett: 31) The Fighting Illini are currently 4-0-1 at home this year on its way to a 5-2-2 start. Illinois is outscoring opponents by a 29-19 margin and boast the highest-scoring offense in the Big Ten. Redshirt junior Jannelle Flaws leads the Illini with nine goals on the year, ranking second in the league. Flaws also ranks second in shot attempts with 41, just behind Nebraska’s Jackson (43).
Freshman goalkeeper Claire Wheatley leads the Big Ten Conference in saves with 42, while senior Vanessa DiBernardo leads the Illini with six assists with four tallies on 34 shots.
Huskers, Johnson Making Statements NU is currently 6-2-1 on the season after a thrilling 2-1 come-from-behind victory over No. 14 Denver at home on Sunday. Freshman Jaycie Johnson has posted game-winning goals in her last three matches and has scored in her previous four contests. Johnson’s seventh goal of the season leads the team and all freshman in the Big Ten, while also ranking third overall in the conference.
Nebraska soccer freshman forward Jaycie Johnson was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week as announced by the Conference office on Monday. Johnson earned the award after notching the lone tally in the 1-0 conference opener against Michigan State and the go-ahead score in the 79th minute of Sunday’s exciting 2-1 victory over No. 14 Denver. Johnson was also named Big Ten Player of the Week by CollegeSportsMadness.com for her exceptional performance during the past week's action.
'Blackshirts' Shutting Down The Opposition NU senior goalkeeper Emma Stevens picked up her 24th career victory in net with three saves against Denver. Stevens set a new career-high for consecutive scoreless minutes at 251:30 before allowing the only Pioneer goal of the match. Stevens moved up to second all-time in saves (210) at Nebraska on Thursday, just 29 shy of Erin Miller (239) for the all-time mark.
The Huskers have outshot the opposition by a 64-41 margin throughout the previous three matches en route to a four-match win streak. NU is also a perfect 4-0 this season playing on home turf at the Nebraska Soccer Field. Ari Romero and Jaylyn Odermann key the Nebraska defense as they are leading the team in minutes.
Leading at the Break? Nebraska is 199-5-5 all-time (.964) when leading at the half. In 21 all-time Big Ten Conference games, the Huskers have led at the half just four times.
Nebraska Notes - The Huskers have scored 13 of its 19 goals this season in the second half - Nebraska is outscoring its opponents 9-1 at home in the second half in 2013 - Freshman Jaycie Johnson has scored a goal in each of her first four home games (5 goals total) - Four of Nebraska’s nine matches this season have featured a goal within the first three minutes - Nebraska ranks fourth in the Big Ten with 20.0 shots per game - Senior defender Ari Romero was named to CollegeSoccer360.com's Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll on Tuesday
NU Offense Firing on All Cylinders The NU offense, aided by a strong defensive unit, have outshot its opponents by a 180-99 margin through nine matches, including a 76-39 shots on goal advantage. The Huskers have had eight different goal scorers on the year, including two freshmen with multiple scores. The Nebraska offense has outperformed the opposition in eight-of-nine matches.
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